Archive for October, 2010

Congrats to all Participants and Organizers


The Luderitz Speed Challenge has finally come to a close.  Congratulations to all the competitors, the organizers, sponsors and Sebastien Cattelan for making this event possible.  It wasn’t always easy to please everyone but in the end, the new course proved to be a winner making speeds of more than 55 knots attainable for the first time ever.

12 national speed records were also achieved, and 7 of them were set on the Genetrix Hydra!

Catman was the first one to break the 50 knot sailing speed record in 2008 which was taken from him by Alex Caizergues 24 hours later.  History almost repeated itself in 2010.  This time around, Catman was the first to reach 55 knots and again became the fastest sailor in the world on the Genetrix Hydra with 55,49 knots (102.6 km/hr).  But only an hour later Rob Douglas edged him out by 15 hundredths of a second and managed to set another new world record of 55,64 knots, taking it back home to the US. Congratulation to Rob for being the fastest man.

Seb remains the new speed sailing record holder of France and Europe!  Congratulations also to Charlotte Consorti for being the first woman to reach speeds over 50 with 50.43 knots.


2 National Records broken despite lighter wind

Stefan Metzger improved on his Namibian record with 49.28 knots
Zsolt Lenkei improved his Hungarian record with 43.65 knots.

Unfortunately today’s wind was lighter than yesterday, so these are excellent speeds.
It is a lot of work to keep the channel free of sand without the rivers filling it back up or keeping the water in when the tide goes out.  The start of the run was also improved, and all rivers were closed off in time this morning. By having the retaining wall at the end, this raised the water depth of the channal and gave the riders a bit more width to play with. The canal had a constant water depth the entire day.

UNOFFICIAL results up to Day 12 – 29 October 2010 (excuse any errors & omissions) :
Visit for the OFFICIAL Results.

Rank No. Name Nat. Speed
1 55 Rob Douglas (WR & NR) USA 55.65
2 69 Sebastien Cattelan (NR) FRA 55.49
3 21 Alex Caizergues FRA 54.93
4 64 Sebastien Salerno FRA 54.28
5 53 Sylvain Hoceini FRA 52.90
6 11 Gavin Broadbent (NR) NZ 50.93
7 45 Basil Cambanis (NR) ZA 50.72
8 1 Taro Niehaus ZA 50.62
9 4 Charlotte Consorti (Ladies WR & NR) FRA 50.43
10 57 Morgan Douglas USA 49.69
11 56 Jamie Douglas USA 49.46
12 19 Stefan Metzger (NR) NAM 49.28
13 13 Manu Taub FRA 49.09
14 40 Patrice Menossi FRA 48.74
15 7 Sophie Routaboul FRA 48.64
16 46 Marc Avella (NR) ESP 48.55
17 9 Christophe Prin-Guenon FRA 47.18
18 14 Fred Kloren NL 46.93
19 18 Tim Pumpa (NR) AUS 46.78
20 59 Jernej Privsek (NR) SL 46.60
21 10 Anders Bringdal (NR) [W] SWE 44.80
22 5 Sjoukje Bredenkamp ZA 44.25
23 6 Zsolt Lenkei (NR) HUN 43.65
24 52 Bill Lynch USA 42.32
25 81 Farrel O-Shea [W] UK 41.02
26 2 Afrit Foued (NR) ALB 39.81
27 800 Nick Vardalaxos [W] GR 38.06
28 223 Andrea Baldini [W] IT 37.21
29 47 Zara Davis (PR) [W] UK 36.99
30 3 Leila Nouar FRA 34.71

WR = World Record, NR = National Record, PR = Production Record, W = Windsurfer


Big final at Lud

One big day still to go for the competitors at the second lagoon. Rob will not take part as he broke his wrist and has to return to the US .  Alex and Seb will definitely give it all they have today.

The UNOFFICIAL results up to Day 11 (excuse any errors & omissions) :
Visit for the OFFICIAL Results.

Rank No. Name Nat. Speed
1 55 Rob Douglas USA 55.65
2 69 Sebastien Cattelan FRA 55.49
3 21 Alex Caizergues FRA 54.93
4 64 Sebastien Salerno FRA 54.28
5 53 Sylvain Hoceini FRA 52.90
6 11 Gavin Broadbent NZ 50.93
7 45 Basil Cambanis ZA 50.72
8 1 Taro Niehaus ZA 50.62
9 4 Charlotte Consorti FRA 50.43
10 13 Manu Taub FRA 49.04
11 7 Sophie Routaboul FRA 48.64
12 46 Marc Avella ESP 48.55
13 56 Jamie Douglas USA 47.90
14 57 Morgan Douglas USA 47.34
15 9 Christophe Prin-Guenon FRA 47.18
16 14 Fred Kloren NL 46.93
17 18 Tim Pumpa AUS 46.78
18 59 Jernej Privsek SL 46.60
19 10 Anders Bringdal (W) SWE 44.80
20 5 Sjoukje Bredenkamp ZA 44.25
21 52 Bill Lynch USA 42.32
22 6 Zsolt Lenkei HUN 42.16
23 81 Farrel O-Shea (W) UK 41.02
24 2 Afrit Foued ALB 39.81
25 800 Nick Vardalaxos (W) GR 38.06
26 223 Andrea Baldini (W) IT 37.21
27 47 Zara Davis (W) UK 36.99
28 3 Leila Nouar FRA 34.71

W = Windsurfer


New records!!

New world record by Rob Douglas (USA) with 55.65
New french and european record by Seb Cattelan (FR) with 55.49
New world record feminine by Charlotte Consorti (FR) with 50.43

Still awaiting the ISAF and the WSSRC official results.

Catman did it. First over 55

Rob Douglas and Catman have both exceeded 55 knots today, but we’re still waiting for the official results.
Catman was the first one today to have broken the 55 knot ( over 101 kmh / 63 mph) speed barrier but not for long as Rob Douglas also clocked in above 55 knots.

Stay tuned…

Who let the cat out…

Mother nature is offering the competitors in Luderitz her farewell blessings for this last week of competition. Winguru displays gusts of 30+ knots. That means wind of 45 knots is possible on the spot. This is scheduled for this Thursday and Friday in the 2nd lagoon. The tide should also cooperate, contrary to the racing conditions of the past few records. If the high wind persists, new world record speeds are imminent.

Let’s hope for no wrench-throwing monkeys so that the race can go on!

GPS analysis of a run

A video of Seb Salerno analyzing his GPS run of 50.25 knots:

He enters the run @ 50.56 knots, goes up to 53.11 and keeps his speed between 52 and 53 knots until the last leg. By the end of the run the wind drops and water entering into the channel from the surrounding creeks and rivers slows him down.


Over 50 in less wind!

Despite lower than expected 35 knot wind and choppy water, 3 riders achieved speeds of over 50 knots today. Catman, Rob Douglas and Sed Salerno all did it in less wind that was previously required. Zsolt Lenkei improved on his personal best from 39,75 to 42.  As the wind was increasing, the tide was too high to go on.

Sophie Routaboul got close to female world record today (45 flashed on the display), in spite of breaking her hand only a week ago.

The above speeds are not official yet.


2 More National Records

By the time the wind got steady and in the right direction today around 3:00pm, the tide was too high.  When dealing with Mother Nature, it’s not always easy to do what you want when you want it! Monday, Wednesday and Saturday looks promising with the high tide being later on in the day.  Let hope it gets nuking!

2 More National Records
Zsolt Lenkei – Hungary 35.34 knots.
Afrit Foued – Algeria 38.48 knots

Here is a pic of the camera that aims at the finish line.  The same camera is positioned at the beginning of the run.  The two are linked together by a 500m cable.  To position, calibrate the 2 cams, hookup the cable and connecting the clocking screen at the exit of the run takes about 2 hours.  In the evening, same thing. It all has to come down.  A suspended contraption rigged out of wooden posts and planks had to be put in place to help crossing the lagoon when the tide is too high to get to the cameras at the end of the day.


The heat is on…

There are only 8 days left to break a new world speed record. With the right conditions of wind and tide, the kitesurfers are sure to exceed the speeds of last week. The wind should gradually increase to 35-40 knts, being the strongest at the beginning of next week. Hoping they will get more!!
The speed the competitors could achieve yesterday was limited due to choppy water and lighter 30 knot wind. As it is spring high tide, the water came up quickly making the run usable only between 12:30am-1:30pm. It will be hard for all competitors to have a go at the run when the conditions are optimum for that day. It’s going to be a stampeed for the start since no one will want to miss the magical wind and tide window. In the next few days, as the high tide moves later towards the end of the afternoon, keep an eye out for some crazy performance in Luderitz.

A few pictures from Adrien Fréville photographie